[hcs-d] Webmail

Quentin Smith quentin at MIT.EDU
Thu Oct 30 09:26:59 EDT 2008

On Thu, 30 Oct 2008, Joshua Kroll wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 8:54 AM, Quentin Smith <quentin at mit.edu> wrote:
>> On Thu, 30 Oct 2008, Bruno Afonso wrote:
>>> - harvard would never be able to give to their students 5gig emails
>>> anytime in the near future. outsourcing would be the only way.
>> MIT does their own mail hosting. Our quotas are currently 1GB by default and
>> 2GB for the asking; it's totally plausible to have 5GB quotas on self-hosted
>> mail.
> I agree with Quentin. Let us do a small calculation:
> There are, I think, about 10,000 FAS users (does anyone know?). If
> they each had a 5GB quota, we would need about 50 TB of storage plus
> maybe the same amount for backup/mirroring. If we assume Harvard is
> smart enough to figure out how to buy this equipment for $0.50/GB (HCS
> just bought 24 TB at $0.56/GB), they would only need to spend about
> $50,000 on equipment. Now, they would have to spend money on staff
> time to install/configure/maintain this equipment, but I'll bet you it
> would even have been CHEAPER than the outsourcing.
> Please quibble with my figures if you think they're off.

I think you're making the big assumption that each user is actually going 
to use their full quota. It's more likely than with generic file storage, 
maybe, but I still doubt most users are going to fill their quota. You can 
probably knock 50% or more off the requirements. (Though, honestly, $50k 
vs. $25k is probably about the same for an organization the size of 

Also, note that MIT has at least 20,000 accounts, all with >1GB mail 

Unfortunately, MIT is also currently looking into moving into some kind of 
hosted system. They seem to have already dismissed most of the big names, 
and they're currently running a pilot of... Exchange.


> Josh

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